Starry skies for Food NI members at the Great Taste Awards

Food NI members have punched well above their weight at this year’s Great Taste Awards. Top of the pile is the Meat Merchant Peter Hannan who brought home a record-breaking 59 stars for 36 products. This is an all-time UK record. There were 3 stars each for Hannan’s Glenarm Shorthorn 4 Rib Roast, Sugar Pit Beef Brisket, Pastrami Beef Brisket and Glenarm Shorthorn Wing Rib Sirloin. This is a truly outstanding achievement. Well done to all at Hannan Meats.

There were more of the top awards for Food NI members including 3 stars for Oolong Orange Blossom and Ayurvedic Suki Teas, Thompson’s Punjana Original and Irish Breakfast Tea bags, Clandeboye Estate Greek Style Yoghurt, Smoked Abernethy Butter, Kearney Blue cheese and Dale Farm’s Rowan Glen Reduced Fat Crème Fraiche. That makes a total of 12 three star awards. These are notoriously difficult to get. Judges are looking for excellence.

In the 2 star category, there were plaudits for several drinks including Mourne Mountains Brewery Red Trail Red IPA, Armagh Cider Company Carson’s Crisp, Long Meadow Cider’s Blossom Burst and Rademon Estate’s Shortcross Gin. Seriously Juicy’s Sweet Beet juice won 2 stars as did Punjana’s Loose Tea, Thompson’s Black Tea Orange Cookies, Suki Tea’s Indian Spiced Chai and Whole Peppermint teas, Thompson’s Everyday Teabags, their Signature Blend Teabags, Turkish Apple, Hot Summer Red and Hedgerow Heaven blends.

Graham’s Bakery took 2 stars for their Irish Oat Cookies, Genesis Crafty for their SuperValu Brown Soda Loaf, the Heatherlea’s Coarse Wheaten Bread, Genesis Crafty’s Tea Brack and Deli Lites Salted Caramel Brownies. La Coquine’s Young Buck and Port and Passion Fruit Chocolates both took two stars as did Blackthorn Foods Orange and Dark Chocolate Fudge. Broighter Gold’s Special Edition Liquid Gold with 23ct Gold Flakes won 2 stars alongside Black Garlic Miso and Fresh Lovage and Pine Oils from En Place Foods. Northcoast Smokehouse won with their Smoked Dulse and Broughgammon’s Smoked Goat Bacon.

Hannan’s Sugar Pit was hard at work taking 2 stars each for Bacon Ribs, Bacon Rack, Smoked Bacon Rack, Smoked Back Bacon and Slab Bacon. Kennedy’s also took 2 stars for their Dry Cured Gammon Roast as did Quail’s Fine Foods Dry Cured Streaky Bacon, 28 Day Aged Himalayan Salt-Aged Bone In Rib Roast and Homemade Pastrami and Carnbrooke Meats for their Salt-Aged Fillet of Beef, Mourne Lamb Carvery Leg, French-Trimmed Mourne Lamb Rack and Mourne Lamb Rump.

Hannan’s triumphed again in the 2 star category for Glenarm Shorthorn T-Bone Steak, Himalayan Salt-Aged Rib Steak, Extra-Matured Himalayan Salt-Aged Cote de Boeuf, Himalayan Salt-Aged Delmonico Steak, Sugar Pit Beef Short Rib. Pastrami Beef Short Rib, Extra Matured Himalayan Salt-Aged Sirloin Steak, Glenarm Sharing Sirloin Steak, Himalayan Salt-Aged Lamb Rack and the Rump Burger.

Cavanagh’s Free Range Eggs jumped up to 2 stars from 1 in 2015. L’Artisan Foods won with their Smoked Salmon Quiche and their Portuguese Natas custard tarts. Dale Farm took 2 stars for their Natural Cottage Cheese and the Yellow Door impressed with their Sticky Toffee Pudding and Glastry Farm with their Zesty Lemon sorbet making a total of 56 two star awards for Food NI members.

In the 1 star category, members again swept the board. Lacada’s Stranded Bunny and Whitewater’s Maggie’s Leap and Belfast Ale did the business as did Hillstown’s Spitting Llama Belgian Ale and Northbound’s 34 Oak Smoked Beer. MacIvor’s Traditional Dry and Medium Ciders won alongside Kilmegan Cider’s “Irish Farmhouse” variety. Squeeze Wheatgrass Apple Juice with Pear took a star as did Thompson’s Decaf Blend Teabags, SD Bell’s Belfast Teabags and House Blend 80. Suki’s Matcha, Rooibos Crème Brulee and Chamomile won in this category too beside Thompson’s Scent of a Rose, Rhubarb Spritzer and SD Bell’s Colombian Medelllin Supremo coffee beans.

Ann’s Pantry impressed with their Oatmeal ones, their Irish Fruit Loaf and their Spelt potato bread with Black Pudding. So too did Genesis Crafty’s Wee Sodas, Toaster Wheaten, Sliced Oven Wheaten, Super Valu Sean’s Brown Bread and Brioche Finger Rolls. Yellow Door won with a Honey Glazed Buttermilk Bap, Granary Loaf and a Raspberry and Almond Loaf. Irwin’s Bakery won for their Rankin Selection Irish Barm Brack with Cranberry & Cinnamon, Rankin Selection Brown Soda Bread and their Belfast Bap. The Cookie Jar impressed with their Wheaten Bread. So did Linwoods with a Goodness Multigrain Loaf. The Krazi Baker’s Treacle Farl and Soda side with cinnamon and Irish whiskey soaked sultanas both took home a star as did the Heatherlea’s Rich Fruit Loaf and Amber Catering’s Root Vegetable Cake.

La Coquine’s creations worked their magic again with 3 separate stars for Goats cheese and lemon, Smoked Salted Caramel and Grappa and Raisin. Tamnagh Foods repeated their success with their Maple Nut and Fruit Granola as did Passion Preserved with Indian Inspired Tomatoes and Hollah Preserving won with their Bucky BBQ Sauce and Deli Muru with their Black Cherry Chipotle Chutney. It was a double whammy for PEPPUP Sauces with a star each for their Original and Reduced Sugar and Salt varieties.

En Place won a star for Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Clements and Glenballyeamon Eggs took a star each. North Coast Smokehouse’s Smoked Sea Salt impressed alongside Red Dog’s Raspberry Chipotle Salad Dressing.

There were yet more gongs for Hannan Meat’s Moyallon Smoked Back Bacon, Sugar Pit Back Bacon, Moyallon Back Bacon, Moyallon Streaky Bacon, Sugar Pit Bacon Chop, Moyallon Bacon Loin, Himalayan Salt-Aged Sharing Sirloin Steak, Fillet Steak, Rack of Beef, Cote de Boeuf, Glenarm Shorthorn Rib Chop, Ribeye Steak, Club Steak and Sirloin Steak, Himalayan Salt Aged Lamb Rump, Spicy Italian Meatball and the Sugar Pit Beef Rib.

Kennedy Bacon’s Dry Cured Streaky and Dry Cured Bacon Joint won a star each alongside Cookstown’s Honey Cured Prime Fillet of Ham, Quail’s Flat Iron Steak and Handmade Pork Sausage, Finnebrogue’s Asda Extra Special Welsh Vintage Cheddar, Spring Onion and Chive Sausage and Carnbrooke’s Mourne Lamb T-Bone and Hand Linked Pork Sausage with Bramley Apple and Gracehill Black Pudding. Buchanan’s Free Range Bronze Turkey and their Yo Yo Lamb and Turkey Burgers performed well as did Baronscourt’s Wild Sika Venison Rack

Cloughbane Farm Shop’s Chicken Ham and Leek and Chicken and Mushroom Pies each won a star. Yellow Door’s vegetarian Parsnip, Kale and Chestnut Pie took one too. Cloughbane also won with their Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Clandeboye Estate Madagascan Vanilla Greek Style, Natural Yoghurts and Mango and Granola Yoghurt Pot added a star each to their cache. Abernethy did the same with their Butter and Dale Farm’s Rowan Glen and Loseley Salted Butters took a star each. Dart Mountain Cheese’s Dusk and Banagher Bold were 1 star winners alongside Fivemiletown Boilie Goats Cheese Barrel 70g and Brambleberry Jam’s Malted Chocolate and Coffee Caramel Sauces.

Glastry Farm’s Teeling Irish Whiskey and White Chocolate and Wild Blackberry Ice Creams won a star each. There was a star too for Dale Farm’s Spelga 0% Fat Greek Frozen Berry Yoghurt and Yellow Door’s Buttermilk Sorbet.

On the savoury side, there was more success for Yellow Door’s Braised Lamb with North African flavours and Mash Direct’s Champ and Mashed Turnip. Avondale Foods also secured a 1 star Great Taste Award for their Dunnes Store Cook at Home Rooster Mash Potato.

Modition’s Bakery’s Gluten-free Jam and Coconut Cake finishes a massive stack of 105 twinkly 1 star awards for Food NI’s members.

CEO of Food NI Michele Shirlow said “Year on year, we are seeing more and more of our members winning 1, 2 and 3 stars at these awards. Judging took place in Belfast for the second time this year. Northern Ireland is now seen as one of the strongest food regions on the British Isles. These awards really do help businesses to grow and gain new business and I am delighted that our members have done so well, especially in the Year of Food and Drink 2016.”